GARLIC PRESS

::Place a whole, peeled garlic clove into the garlic press, press down firmly on handle, holding the "holey" extraction area over desired pot or mixing bowl.  Garlic is swiftly passed through the mesh holes, and tada, you have finely minced garlic in seconds.::

The garlic press is a trusty, trusty friend in my kitchen.  Mincing garlic is a daunting task... running a chef's knife back and forth, over and over again until it's pulverized into tiny pin-dot pieces.  I don't have the patience for it, especially when something is cooking away on the stove.  Nearly every dish calls for garlic (well, mine do), so when I create something with minced or finely minced garlic, the garlic press is too handy.  This contraption makes life so much simpler.

In addition, I find the garlic press not only "crushes" the garlic into nice fine pieces, but also releases garlic juice into the dish or sauce, kicking up the flavors with a head start.  

*Tip: If using raw garlic in a sauce or dip, the recipe most likely calls for an acidic ingredient such as lemon juice, vinegar or mustard.  I always start with combining the acidic liquids and pressed garlic together in a small bowl, set aside for a few minutes.  The garlic juices will extract into the acidic mixture creating a very flavorful end product, whatever it is you're making.  The same also applies to raw minced onions. 

If you don't own a garlic press, I very much suggest investing in one.  You can find a great press at TJ Maxx or your local home, bath or kitchen stores for around $10 or less.  I purchased a better one, slightly more expensive, OXO Steel Garlic Press for my brother-in-law and they absolutely love it:

The garlic press is my second BFF in the kitchen... My true love?  Dear Wok  :)